Replacement Necks for Stratocaster – FAQ & Buyer’s Guide!

Even though the Fender Stratocaster can take quite a beating, accidents do happen. Necks can get broken or bruised to such an extent that it’s cheaper to buy a new one than to fix it. Besides having an accident and breaking your guitar’s neck, a guitar upgrade is also an excellent reason to purchase a new neck.

In this article, I’m going to review some of the most popular neck replacements for the Fender Stratocaster.

Best Choice
Fender Stratocaster Neck - Medium Jumbo Frets - Maple Fingerboard
Fender Stratocaster Neck - Medium Jumbo Frets - Maple Fingerboard
Best Strat Replacement Neck
This Fender's neck gives you all the quality you would expect from Fender at a relatively affordable price. It’s the perfect neck replacement for any Stratocaster.
Check Price

Since the Stratocaster is arguably the most popular guitar in the world, there are plenty of replacement necks available. However, guitar players don’t want to end up with a worse guitar. The neck1 is essential as it affects the playability and the overall sound of the guitar.

That’s why it’s important to purchase an equivalent or better neck than the one you have. However, you might not have the necessary budget for an original Fender neck. Luckily, I’ve accounted for some alternatives as well. But let’s get to it.

Best Neck Replacement for Stratocaster — Comparison Table

ImageProduct 
Best Strat Replacement Neck
Fender Stratocaster Neck - Medium Jumbo Frets - Maple Fingerboard review
Fender Stratocaster Neck - Medium Jumbo Frets - Maple Fingerboard
  • Fender quality and craftsmanship
  • Smooth frets
  • Easy to install

Check Price
Also great
Fender American Stratocaster Neck review
Fender American Stratocaster Neck
  • Fender American quality
  • Feels and plays like a dream
  • Easy to install

Check Price
Best value
Mighty Mite Neck for Strat Guitar, Maple Fingerboard review
Mighty Mite Neck for Strat Guitar, Maple Fingerboard
  • A good price/quality compromise
  • Easy to install
  • Almost as good as Mexican Fender necks

Check Price
Great for everyday
Fender Classic Player 50
Fender Classic Player 50's Stratocaster Neck - Maple Fingerboard
  • "V"-shaped profile makes it easier to use your thumb
  • Mexican Fender quality
  • Easy to install

Check Price
Best choice
Mighty Mite MM2929 Stratocaster Replacement Neck with Rosewood Fingerboard and Jumbo Frets review
Mighty Mite MM2929 Stratocaster Replacement Neck with Rosewood Fingerboard and Jumbo Frets
  • Good quality for its price
  • Easy to install

Check Price

Best Neck Replacement for Stratocaster Review

1. Fender Stratocaster Neck – Medium Jumbo Frets – Maple Fingerboard – Best Strat Replacement Neck

Features

  • Fender quality and craftsmanship
  • Smooth frets
  • Easy to install

Specifications

  • Maple neck with maple fingerboard
  • “C”-shaped neck
  • Standard truss rod

Whether you’re replacing your Fender Stratocaster’s neck or upgrading your Squier, you can’t go wrong with this Made in Mexico Fender neck. If you have an American Stratocaster, you might want to look into an American neck, other than that this is the best neck for every other Stratocaster out there. 

The quality control and the attention to detail are what you would expect from any Mexican Stratocaster. Yes, there might be a lemon or two out there, but generally, these necks are perfect, or pretty close to it. There are no fret bumps, and the neck is smooth all the way down.

Installing this neck is pretty easy, as well. All the necessary holes come predrilled. The biggest issue might be the nut width, but it will vary from neck to neck — you might need to file it slightly to fit a regular nut. Other than that, this neck is basically plugged and play.



Will this fit on a Squier Bullet Stratocaster?

No. The Squier Bullet has a thinner body than a Fender Stratocaster.


Will this neck fit a Made in Mexico Stratocaster?


Yes. This neck will fit most standard Fender Stratocasters.

Who this is for?

Someone looking to replace their Mexican Stratocaster neck.

Why I like it?

Fender is Fender. This neck is what you would find in a high quality Made in Mexico Fender Stratocaster.

2. Fender American Stratocaster Neck

Features

  • Fender American quality
  • Feels and plays like a dream
  • Easy to install

Specifications

  • Maple neck with rosewood fingerboard
  • “C”-shaped neck
  • Bi-flex truss rod

If you’re looking to upgrade your Mexican Stratocaster or looking to replace your American Stratocaster’s neck, then this should be the only neck to consider. Despite Mexican necks being very good as well, American Fender products are just on another level.

Again, lemons exist with any product, but, in most cases, you’ll have a high-quality neck that feels and plays like a dream. The worst thing about this neck is that it doesn’t come ready for micro-tilt — which might not be a problem as not every Stratocaster has it. 

This neck is available with a rosewood fingerboard or a maple one. Assembly is easy, and you shouldn’t need to drill any additional holes.

Does this neck fit a Squier Affinity Stratocaster?

Yes, it will. This neck won’t fit a Bullet Stratocaster but will fit an Affinity just fine.


Is this an original Fender neck?


Yes. This product is original and comes with a Fender certificate of authenticity.


Does this neck have a serial number?


Yes. Like with every Fender’s neck, this neck has a serial number on the backside of the headstock. 

Who this is for?

Someone looking for a premium Fender neck.

Why I like it?

Fender American necks have excellent attention to detail and quality control.

3. Mighty Mite Neck for Strat Guitar, Maple Fingerboard

Features

  • A good price/quality compromise
  • Easy to install
  • Almost as good as Mexican Fender necks

Specifications

  • Maple neck with a polyurethane finish
  • Single-action truss rod
  • 25-1/2″ scale length

Since the Stratocaster is such a popular guitar, there’s a vast number of manufacturers producing parts for it. Mighty Mite produces excellent necks and shouldn’t be overlooked just because they’re not Fender.

Truth be told, most Mighty Mite necks are not as good as a Fender American neck — but, then again, they’re not as expensive. Some of the necks are on par with Mexican Fender necks, but the quality might differ from neck to neck.

This neck is an excellent compromise between price and quality. The finishes aren’t stellar, but they’re good. Although they’re also relatively easy to install, these necks might need some maintenance before they’re good to go. However, once you care for them properly, you’ll have an excellent neck that didn’t run you dry.



What size are the frets on this neck?


This neck has the standard medium-jumbo sized frets that Fender uses in most of its necks.


Is this neck available in a 12″ radius?


No. This neck is only available in a 9-1/2″ radius.


Does the headstock also have the polyurethane finish?


Yes. Both the neck and the headstock have a polyurethane finish.

Who this is for?

Someone looking for a good Stratocaster neck but not willing to pay a premium price.

Why I like it?

Mighty Mite has been in business for a long time and knows how to make a proper Stratocaster neck.

4. Fender Classic Player 50’s Stratocaster Neck – Maple Fingerboard

Features

  • “V”-shaped profile makes it easier to use your thumb
  • Mexican Fender quality
  • Easy to install

Specifications

  • Maple neck and fingerboard 
  • “Soft V”-shaped neck
  • Synthetic bone nut

The Fender Classic Player Series is considered as the top of the line when it comes to Mexican Fender guitars. The pickups are different, and there’s an added level of attention to detail, but how do the necks compare?

Well, most Mexican Fender necks have the classic “C”-shaped profile. That’s not the case with the Classic Player Series. This neck has a V shape that should make it a better fit for any hand. Obviously, it’s not for everyone, but most players find out that this neck feels better to play when compared to a regular “C”-shaped neck.

“V”-shaped necks are easier for players who like to play in the style of Jimi Hendrix or John Frusciante, who use their thumbs to fret the lower E string. If that’s your playing style, then this neck is a great choice.

Other than that, this neck has all the quality you would expect from a Made in Mexico Fender.


Is this neck made in America or made in Mexico?


As you can tell by the serial number on the back of the headstock, this neck is made in Mexico.


Are the neck holes predrilled?


Yes.


Where is truss rod adjustment at?


The truss rod is adjusted at the heel.

5. Mighty Mite MM2929 Stratocaster Replacement Neck with Rosewood Fingerboard and Jumbo Frets

Features

  • Good quality for its price
  • Easy to install

Specifications

  • Maple neck with rosewood fingerboard
  • Oil-based finish
  • 22 jumbo frets

This Mighty Mite neck is an excellent neck if you’re on a budget. It doesn’t have the quality nor the attention to detail that you would find on a Fender’s neck, but you should never expect that at this price point.

This neck is okay. It’s not recommended, and it is a definite downgrade from any neck you would find in any Fender or Squier Stratocaster1 (with the exception of the Affinity and Bullet series). It’s good if you’re in desperate need of a neck and can’t scrounge up the extra money required for a better neck.

Other than that, this neck needs polishing and will definitely need some work before it’s buttery smooth. It works, and it’s good quality for its price, but you should definitely aim for something a bit better.

Where are these necks manufactured?


Although Mighty Mike used to manufacture its products in the USA, they currently make their products in China.

Who this is for?

A Stratocaster player on an extreme budget.

Why I like it?

Mighty Mite offers good quality for the price. 

Replacing Neck for Stratocaster – Step-by-Step Guide


It’s pretty simple. The tools we need are a number three Phillips head screwdriver for putting the screws in the back of the neck and you possibly might need a little block with some sandpaper on it. The steps are pretty simple. The first thing I would suggest is that you don’t rush. You want to make sure that you check things carefully so that you don’t shift the body or have a problem that you’re going to be unhappy with later.

Replacing Strat Neck

Replacing Strat Neck

The first thing you want to do is take a look at the pocket here and you can see this particular instrument has some tags on it. You want to remove these tags. These are for inventory purposes and it’s not really good to have them in the pocket. You want a nice snug fit on the back of this. You take a look at the back of this neck and you’ll see that it’s cool, this is ready to go. So you will carefully hover over the neck pocket with the neck and see how it fits. Now this one fits really well and yours should too.

Replacing Strat Neck

Replacing Strat Neck

So, there might be some buildup of paint in there that you had to remove in the process?
That’s correct. The idea here is is because this is tapered and the neck pocket is tapered, you don’t want to try and put it in in the wrong direction. That will definitely crack it. You want to line it up right from the top and then let it slide in like that. Now this one’s fine. If you notice that it doesn’t go down easily or there’s some problem here, then your block comes in. And what you’ll do, I have this block set up so that there’s sandpaper on two sides, you want to make sure that you use the side without sandpaper to go to the neck pocket so that you don’t accidentally sand the pocket. And then you just carefully going in one direction, just sand it slightly and that’ll clean up the paint on that edge and then we’ll turn around and do the same thing. Just a little bit, and then you can also do this way to clean up the paint off the bottom of the pocket.

Replacing Strat Neck

Replacing Strat Neck

So, now we know this one fits really well, so the next step is to put the neck plate on it. One thing I want to recommend is when you have the screws for the neck plate, you run them through either some wax. This is just some paraffin wax that I have here. This helps lubricate the screw going in, especially into a new neck. It makes it much easier to screw in and you won’t fight it and have a hard time with it. You want to place your neck plate right over the holes and then we’re going to place the screws in. I like to put them all in first like this.

Replacing Strat Neck

Replacing Strat Neck

Now when you get your body, it will be preclean these holes, so that you shouldn’t have any problems with the paint. The best thing to do with this is to take your time. I always tighten these things up slowly and across. So I’m starting here, I’m going to go over to the other side, tighten it down. Don’t over tighten. This is the most important thing. Get it snug. But if you over-tighten, you run the risk of bending the plate and breaking the finish, and you don’t want to do that. So there we go. That’s it.

Conclusion

Sure, a guitar might only be as good as its player, but there’s no shame in admitting that good quality gear enhances your playing. It might not turn a total newbie into the next guitar legend, but it definitely helps to push the envelope a bit further. 

That’s why you shouldn’t pick a substitute guitar neck willy-nilly. The necks on my list are the only ones you should consider for a Fender, or even Squier, Stratocaster.

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squier

About the author

John Tschop

John Tschop

I am a music fan who is fond of different instruments and genres. The member of Klinger-McFry Band. We launched StereoShore to discuss proven tips, tutorials, and insights.

Leave a Comment